Very much off-topic for me. I thought I owe this piece of information to you.
Hardly an original question, as we all know. The answers though, are always different. Yes, we all talk about the tough times, the economic crises, and even the R word – Recession. We can sit around and moan about the government, the world leaders, and those greedy bankers who sent the entire world down the drain. Or, we can sit down, and think about what brought us here? Could it really be the responsibility of a few individuals? Maybe the entire approach of the last 80 odd years was wrong (since the last major recession in the ’30s)?
I’ll take the second approach. I truly believe that our system was faulty all along. It all starts with education. We have educated the last few generations (from pre boomers to Gen Y) about the importance of getting good grades, so you can get a JOB, which you’ll be doing during your entire career.
In the kids’ film (and if you haven’t yet – get it on DVD) The Bee Movie, the main character (played by Jerry Seinfeld) is required to choose a job, which he will do for his whole life. Whilst on the factory tour, this Bee asks the question, “so you’re gonna work us to death?”. To which the tour guide replied, “we will sure try” and everyone laughs! This is a prime example of the group mentality, which has now come back to bite us. At school, we learn skills like maths, and English, and science. We learn nothing about the most important things in life – perusing our passion, social skills, and the importance of our ability to communicate effectively with others, and “sell” our ideas and ourselves to others.
The world has now changed, and we need to do something about it! The last year has taught us a few things:
1. A job is not forever. Even big, long standing corporations can collapse (World Com, Enron, Leehman Bros, to name a few).
2. Job satisfaction (not longevity) is more important than ever!
3. The traditional ways of finding work are not always the best.
So, what can we do about it? GREAT question!
First, it is time to RE-Define the concept of a J-O-B: My definition of a job has changed and it is about contributing, making a difference, and loving what we do. We need to recognize our strengths, and play to them.
Second, look into other ways to find employment (not necessarily a job!): It is through CONNECTIONS, with our fellow humans, that will open opportunities for us. We need to connect and talk with our network (friends, family and colleagues), share ideas and our dreams and desires. Current technologies enable us to connect with our own network, and expand it significantly. Phones, mobiles, emails, and the internet has made communications so much easier, quicker, and more fun (remember the days of writing a letter to family or friends overseas, and waiting 6 weeks for a response?)!
Using tools such as Social Media websites: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter (the top 3 networks that generated $400M for Barack Obama), will allow us to share ideas, and find other people with common interests.
There is a fundamental difference between the American and Chinese approaches to doing business. Americans will do business for a while, before becoming friends. The Chinese take the opposite approach: there’s slim chance of doing business, if you’re not friends first! We are all first and foremost people, and we need first to connect as friends, and then to do business. We need to like each other, before we can work towards a common goal.
Third, we need to recognize that we are all unique, and this is a GOOD thing! All we have is our own personal brand, and we need to make sure we are true to it. We need to stand out from the crowd, and show our point of difference. So, back to JFK’s famous statement – Don’t ask what the country can do for you, ask what can you do for yourself, right now getting to work is the best thing you can do for your country!